Veteran reliever Hunter Strickland will lead the Reds inexperienced bullpen

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Strickland observes drills during workouts.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Hunter Strickland observes drills during workouts. / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Cincinnati Reds have put themselves in an awkward position heading into the 2022 following a series questionable moves executed by the front office this offseason. The Reds bullpen took a pretty big hit following the departures of relievers Michael Lorenzen, Amir Garrett, and Mychal Givens.

The Reds also have two key pieces missing from the bullpen with Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone set to begin the season on the Injured List. Antone will miss the entire 2022 campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery late last summer.

In an effort to replace what they've lost, the Cincinnati front office signed several veteran hurlers, many to minor league deals. However, it appears as though only Buck Farmer will make the Opening Day roster. But one of the major additions to the Reds bullpen heading into the season is former two-time World Series Champion Hunter Strickland.

Hunter Strickland will be the best pitcher in the Reds bullpen.

Hunter Strickland was arguably one of the most underrated relievers in this year's free agent class. The 32-year-old still brings the heat, as his fastball sits in the mid-90s. Strickland will also mix in a slider, sinker, and a changeup. Strickland understands how to miss bats. As he missed 22.4% of bats while keeping batters guessing with a 11.7 swinging-strike rate.

With the Reds having no closer to speak of, don't be surprised to see Strickland in the closer's role above Tony Santillan, Luis Cessa, or Dauri Moreta, Strickland has 21 career saves, 14 of which came in 2018 while he was with the San Francisco Giants.

Strickland brings a veteran presence to the Cincinnati relief corps. With youngsters like Moreta, Santillan, Daniel Duarte, Alexis Diaz, Artt Warren, and Ryan Hendrix on the Opening Day roster, David Bell will likely lean hard on the likes of Strickland and fellow veterans Buck Farmer and Jeff Hoffman.

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Hunter Strickland will have the tough task. As the Reds look to save money and rebuild with the young talent they have on their roster, Strickland stands as one of the team's most experienced pitchers. Only the recently acquired, 10-year veteran Mike Minor is older.